The first few months of being a new mom pretty much sucked for me, I felt gross, I had headaches, she cried, I cried, I yelled, I was so sad, heartbroken, tired.
I wanted to enjoy this tiny human I had created but I was so exhausted I knew no other way than pure survival. She was so freaking cute how could I not be happy? Why was I not the ethereal goddess-mother with flowers in my hair, and a smile on my face, a beaming blissful being that I always imagined I would be when I became a mother?
At 6 months old she was still waking 4-5 times in the night, nursing constantly day and night, which I loved initially, but it was the only way I could get to her calm down. She'd wake around 5-5:30am she would get cranky during the day and napped for short periods of 20-30 minutes, and I felt hopeless. I watched the house crumbling around me, my face melting away as I looked in the mirror, I saw my light fading quickly.
Finally, we broke, we couldn’t go on like this, we had to do something!
We went on the search, reading books, blogs, asking friends and family, our pediatrician said: "Oh, yeah babies don't sleep for a few years – get used to it!"
Ummmm thanks for your help??
We found several extreme recommendations, either nurse her to sleep in our bed all night long and never leave her side, or close the door and let her cry it out till morning. Neither of those were going to work for us. Finally, we found the Sleep Sense Program, we followed each step, we created a routine, we were a team, and within a week she was already sleeping twice as long as she ever did.
We continued and her sleep got longer, deeper, she was happier during the day, and I felt myself coming back to life.
I finally had the confidence to put my child down for bed, knowing she would have a long restful sleep with minimal protest. I wasn’t fighting her anymore, she and I, working together to discover what worked for her. I was able to actually spend time with my husband in the evening without stressing about how many hours of sleep I was losing if we wanted to watch a movie, I knew I’d get a long chunk of sleep before waking up to nurse her. I continued to nurse her once a night until she was 7 months old, and we continued our breastfeeding during the day between solids for several more months.
I knew if I experienced this, there must be other moms that felt the same.
How did I not know more about my daughter’s sleep earlier? Why wasn’t that a topic I learned in my childbirth classes? I had to do something to help my fellow mothers. I knew what I had to do, and set my path to becoming a Sleep Sense Consultant before my second daughter was born. It lights me up seeing the difference I make in people's lives all over the world, and supporting parents teach their babies good sleep habits to last a lifetime, and ultimately restoring mothers to their best selves.